After awarding the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice award to Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony last season, the NBA announced on Monday the five finalists for this year’s honor.
Dallas Mavericks swingman Reggie Bullock, Milwaukee Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday, Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr., Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Toronto Raptors All-Star guard Fred VanVleet have been chosen as the five finalists for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. According to the league, the annual award is “meant to recognize a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged.”
The finalists for the award were selected by members of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion selection committee, which includes Abdul-Jabbar, Director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Dr. Richard Lapchick, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, Rise Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen, and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. The committee also includes youth representative Kendall Dudley, who is a member of the Jr. NBA Court of Leaders.
The winner of the award will be announced during the Western Conference Finals on TNT, and will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA for a social justice organization of his choice. Meanwhile, the other four finalists will each select a social justice organization to receive a $25,000 contribution on their behalf.